Hearing on Chandrababu Naidu’s quash petition adjourned to Sep 19

The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Wednesday adjourned to September 19 the hearing on a quash petition by former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu in alleged Skill Development Corporation scam.

The court also stayed the hearing of the Crime Investigation Department (CID) petition in Vijayawada ACB court seeking custody of Naidu, who is currently lodged in Rajahmundry Central Jail. Alleging that he was being targetted by the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government out of political vendetta, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) supremo has sought orders to set aside his judicial custody and also quash the First Information Report (FIR) registered by the CID. The CID sought time to file counter to the quash petition. While allowing time to the CID, the High Court adjourned the hearing to September 19. Naidu was arrested in the case by the CID in Nandyal on September 9. The next day, ACB Court in Vijayawada sent him to judicial custody for 14 days. The former chief minister was subsequently shifted to Rajahmundry Central Jail. The Vijayawada Court on Tuesday rejected Naidu’s plea for house custody instead of judicial custody. Naidu’s counsel had cited a threat to his life in the jail but the government had conveyed to the court that all security measures were in place. The CID had filed a petition in Vijayawada Court seeking Naidu’s custody for five days for further questioning in the case. When Naidu’s counsel Sidharth Luthra brought this to the notice of the High Court on Wednesday, it directed the lower court not to take up hearing on the CID petition till September 18. The case relates to the establishment of clusters of Centers of Excellence (CoEs) in the state of Andhra Pradesh, with a total estimated project value of Rs 3300 crore when Naidu was the chief minister.